digital payment at a store

The best technologies to use for a phygital experience in retail

Karen Savage

Karen Savage

Head of Sales at Anyline

May 12, 2022

In years past, it was common for businesses to assume that the physical and digital experiences were two entirely separate playing fields in terms of the experience that they needed to offer to their customers. Today, they are one and the same.

The act of combining these two fronts has become more critical than ever, especially when it comes to differentiating a business from its competitors. People want to begin a transaction in a store and finish it online, or vice versa. They want the freedom to shop when they want, where they want, how they want.

That, in essence, is what the “phygital” experience in retail is all about. It allows businesses to bring together the best elements of both worlds in a seamless experience fit for the modern era. As you make your own journey into the “phygital” world, there are a few key technologies that you’ll want to leverage along the way.

The core elements of the phygital retail experience

Overall, a legitimate “phygital” experience in retail will depend on a few key things. These include:

  • An emphasis on immersion, meaning that you’re going out of your way to make the customer an active participant in their experience.
  • A sense of immediacy, which involves making sure that you’re always getting the right message in front of the right person at precisely the right time.
  • An environment of interaction, which lets customers touch, feel and engage with your products – regardless of where they choose to do so.

Successful phygital retail experiences are convenient, fast, and engaging. So what are the best technologies for bringing the best phygital experience to your customers?

More buying options with BOPIS and curbside pickup

All told, many of the technologies that are empowering this bold new era of retail are all about one thing: giving customers as many buying options and choices as possible.

Case in point: curbside pickup options, which the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shown to be increasingly valuable. Shoppers can begin a transaction online and even pay for their order, all while still having the ability to come to your physical location to pick it up if they choose to do so.

Endless aisles to keep up with supply and demand

Endless aisle is the concept of buying items in stores and having them delivered at home – or whatever location they prefer. Endless aisle allows retailers to have little to no stock in their brick-and-mortar location (only display items are needed). It’s also possible to turn this into a self-service experience, with ordering kiosks or even mobile apps.

Customer experience still is the Holy Grail

In the end, especially as retailers continue to struggle in the wake of the events of the last few years, the prioritization of the customer experience is paramount.
People want to be loyal to the brands they enjoy. They want to invest in products and services that they believe in. But they don’t want to be inconvenienced in order to do it. Embracing technologies like these – and the “phygital” retail experience in general – are how brands have been doing precisely that.